The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, one of the nation’s largest philanthropic organizations, is contributing $6 million to Katrina relief efforts, including $2.5 million to area foundations to rebuild non-profit organizations in the region. The foundation board allocated $2.5 million to the Salvation Army; $1 million to the American Red Cross; $1.5 million to the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, now also receiving funds on behalf of the Greater New Orleans Foundation; and $1 million to the Foundation for the Mid South in Jackson, Miss., to assist non-profits in Southern Louisiana, the Mississippi Gulf Coast and the Alabama Gulf Coast. The $6 million in grants includes a personal donation of $1 million by Barron Hilton, son of the late Conrad Hilton and co-chairman of Hilton Hotels Corporation.
“The devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina is so enormous that with our foundation’s focus on alleviating human suffering, it compels our attention,” said Steven M. Hilton, chairman and chief executive officer of the Hilton Foundation. “In keeping with our foundation’s grantmaking strategy, these funds will provide for the immediate relief of hurricane victims while also supporting projects that will make a difference in the long term,” he noted. “The Salvation Army and the Red Cross are first responders providing mass care services on the ground right now, while the grants to the three area foundations will be dedicated to rebuilding the infrastructure of local non-profit organizations.
“Community foundations play a unique and critical role in the societal fabric of a region and, by strengthening the non-profit organizations of these devastated areas, we will be helping them address the needs of their most vulnerable citizens well into the future,” Hilton added.
Commented John G. Davies, President and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation: “This gift to the Hurricane Katrina New Orleans Recovery Fund epitomizes the compelling leadership we’ve come to expect from the Conrad Hilton Foundation. The size, spirit and speed of this gift is a brilliant reminder of the power and duty we all have to help people in need. We are convinced that this contribution will serve as a model and example for other donors as recovery efforts continue to develop.”